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The KDA calls for social and political reforms in Kurdistan

The Kurdistan Democratic Alliance calls for social and political reforms to avoid further deterioration of the situation in Kurdistan. The primary functions of any government are to provide for its citizens security and wellbeing by ensuring the provision of basic services of living such as clean water, electricity, fuel supplies and health care.  The budget allocated to the Kurdistan region by the Iraqi government guarantees all these needs; however, the Kurdish administration, Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), have failed by all accounts, preferring instead to ensure their factional interests.  Kurdistan region is facing many challenges that pose serious threats to the future of our people, including:

1. The Turkish and Iranian armies have been shelling our villages in the border areas for months. The Kurdish administration has failed to find a solution to end these bombardments.
2. The implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, relating to the Arabization of Kirkuk and other areas, has been postponed for six months. We fear that it could again be postponed.
3. Many other serious challenges such as inflation, administrative corruption and lack of transparency have created a deep gap between the ruling elites and our deprived people.
4. The migration of the younger generation to Europe doubled in the past year.  The number of migrants in 2007 who were arrested by the Turkish authorities and deported back to Kurdistan region reached 12000 people, let alone those who succeeded in reaching European countries.
5. Contrary to the bilateral agreement of January 2006, PUK failed to provide a candidate for the Prime Minister post, it has been offered to KDP.  It is clear that such positions are distributed based on factional interests.
6. The main stream media outlets are controlled by KDP and PUK and basically enshrine the image of party leaders.  The few independent newspapers such as Hawlati, Awene, Kurdish Media and Sibey are vulnerable to prosecution by a new law drafted by the parliament in Erbil under pressure from party leadership.
7. The international media outlets are beginning to cover allegations of widespread corruption, governmental mismanagement and major misappropriations by high officials, including the President of the Kurdistan region and the President of the Republic of Iraq, which amount to billions.

Faced with the deterioration of the current situation and the determination of the party leadership to continue its monopoly of power and resources for narrow partisan interests, Kurdistan Democratic Alliance, out of a sense of historical responsibility, will very hardly and sincerely work to find a way out of the current stalemate.  We appeal to the public to support the Kurdistan Democratic Alliance in their demands to:

1. Ensure the right of our people to participate in the political decision-making process and pave the way for democracy, as the leadership of the parties in power is isolating the rule of our people.
2. Demarcate the parliament, government and armed forces from political party and family controls, so they appropriately serve our people and homeland.
3. Save the people of Badinan from the complete submission to tribal control and loyalty procurement policy of the two parties to maintain power.
4. Value the role of the independent press such as Hawlati, Awene, Kurdish Media and Sibey, and certain journalists who bravely highlighted corruption within the party leadership and the lack of interest to handle the challenges facing our people.
5. End the manipulation of the budget and resources of the region and work to invest them in developing the social and economic sectors to meet the needs of our citizens.
6. Place a high emphasis on competency when filling positions within Kurdistan Regional Government to build an open society that guarantees the rights of different religions and minorities, the end of violence against women and the emergence of genuine civil society.

The current leadership have brought ignominy to the Kurdish people, and as the result the Kurds are losing their friends and support from international community.   It is time for all civil and democratic forces to put together a joint program to push for a democratic society, the rule of law and a corruption-free administration. Certain personalities have courageously expressed their disapproval of the status quo.  These forces are the hope of the future generations of our nation, on whom our people are waiting to build a democratic system, characterized by justice and stability.

Kurdistan Democratic Alliance
29 January, 2008